April letter from Mat

Easter is awesome! During my preparations it has struck me again that the death and resurrection of Jesus are not only about our own personal salvation. Incredible as it seems Easter is much bigger than that. If you doubt that read Ephesians 1:8-10Open Link in New Window; Ephesians 2:15-16Open Link in New Window; Ephesians 4:3, 13Open Link in New Window. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the fulcrum of God’s salvation plan for the whole of creation. God’s plan, formed before the world began, is to reconcile all things to himself in Christ. And more than that! Paul reminds us that one day when ‘the times reach their fulfilment’, all things will be gathered together under one head, Christ; the one in whom God will restore harmony to the whole cosmos.

As Paul continues in Ephesians he writes that the ultimate unity of all things has already had its beginning in the church; in us! Though we were dead in sin, enslaved by forces of evil, and deserving of wrath, we have been made alive with Christ, only because of God’s love, only through faith (2:1-10), only through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus’ obedience in death brings together God and humanity. It unites Jew and Gentile. We are made into ‘one new humanity’, reconciled through the cross. We who believe are all given access to the Father, all made citizens of the heavenly temple indwelt by the Spirit, all called on to display the wisdom of God (2:11-3:13).

We who believe are far from being passive spectators in this cosmic drama. We are called to live a life worthy of our calling, to display the unity of the Spirit, to grow together in Christ as a unified body, to reflect to the world God’s ultimate plan for the universe, to testify to a comprehensive, all-embracing salvation in lives turned around. We are called to live as Jesus’ disciples and witness to Jesus.

But whilst God’s purposes are cosmic, the outworking is local. We, St Matthew’s, are to witness to this reconciliation of all things in our everyday existence and demonstrate a whole new way of living consistent. And we start with our everyday lives, with the choices we make, with the people we live with, with our families and friends, and in our jobs. We are very ‘ordinary’ people through whom God is present to the world. That’s the challenge. Easter is amazing, let’s share it.

Mat (with thanks to Anthony Billington at LICC)

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